Mental Health Services and Schools Link Programme (CASCADE)

Bringing together mental health leads in schools and colleges and Children and Young People's Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) to embed long term collaboration and integrated working.

This ground-breaking programme helps CCGs and Local Authorities work together with schools and colleges to provide timely mental health support to children and young people. It empowers staff by brokering contact, sharing expertise and developing a joint vision for CYP mental health and well-being in each locality.

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The programme will:
• Develop a shared view of strengths and limitations and capabilities and capacities of education and mental health professionals
• Increase knowledge of resources to support mental health of children and young people
• Ensure more effective use of existing resources
• Improved joint working between education and mental health professionals

The programme comprises of two workshops delivered at least six weeks apart between January and November 2018. The workshops bring together education and mental health professionals, which draws on evidence-based approaches to training and system transformation.

To support this work, we use our CASCADE framework which focuses on the following key elements of partnership working:
Clarity on remit, roles and responsibilities of partner organisations
Agreed best use of key points of contact in schools and CAMHS
Structures to support shared planning and collaborative working
Common approach to outcome measures for children and young people
Ability to continue to learn and draw on best practice
Development of integrated working to promote rapid and better access to support
Evidence based approach to intervention

The evaluation of this phase of the programme is being conducted by Ecorys, building upon their evaluation for the previous phase. The evaluation plan for new areas is based around understanding how various approaches are implemented, how well they work (including sustainability and scalability), and what lessons can be learned.

A final report will be produced at the end of the evaluation which will be publicly available. This will also contain evidence from a concurrent study following-up schools involved in the initial pilot to assess their sustainability, scalability and learnings over the longer-term.

For more information about the Mental Health Services and Schools Link Programme please email